Action Under the Dome for Monday, April 22

Monday, April 22, 2024
Jen Lancaster

It's Monday, April 22.

Adjournment was meant to happen on April 17, but with so much unfinished business left, a lot of bills didn't see the finish line until April 18. Legislators worked an all-nighter last Wednesday, working so late into the night that they didn't pass the supplemental budget until the next morning after 5:00 AM. We're hoping that legislators have caught up on rest and sleep, but things aren't quite over yet. 

The Legislature will be in session later on for a “veto day,” when they can attend to any bills that the Governor vetoes. The Governor has 10 days from when bills are enacted to sign or veto them, or they become law without her signature. If she does veto any, the Legislature can try to override the veto on "veto day."

We'll share a full report on the 131st Legislature once things have officially concluded and died down, but for now, here are your updates from last week:

Heading to the Governor:

  • LD 2007 — Tribal sovereignty bill: This bill was pared down to mostly cover criminal jurisdictions and recognize the Penobscot Nation's authority to regulate their drinking water. It was passed to be enacted on 4/10 and now sits on the Governor's desk. Unless the Governor signs the bill by the end of today, the clock will run out, and it will become law without her signature. 
  • LD 2086 — Banning bump stocks: Bans the sale of bump stocks and other devices that increase the rate of fire of semi-automatic guns to the rate of fire of machine guns. Passed to be enacted on 4/17 and heads to the Governor.
  • LD 2224 — Governor's gun reform bill: Expands background checks for gun sales, adjusts Maine's extreme risk protection order (ERPO) laws, and establishes an Injury and Violence Prevention Program. This bill received its funding from the special appropriations table, was enacted by both chambers on 4/18, and heads to the Governor for her signature.
  • LD 2238 — 72 waiting period: Those who purchase a new firearm have to wait 72 hours before they can receive it. It was enacted on 4/17 in both chambers and heads to the Governor's desk.

Dead bills:

  • LD 2283 — Extreme Risk Protection Order: This bill would permit family members to seek a court order to remove firearms if another family member is a risk to themselves or others. Unfortunately, this bill didn't make it to the chamber floors for votes and will not advance any further this year.

Stuck on the Special Appropriations Table:

The following bills come with a price tag and require funding before they can be enacted. Will they receive their funding from the special appropriations? We'll likely know the answer by next week.

  • LD 1966 — Expanding Clean Elections: This bill would include Clean Elections for District Attorney races. We know that Clean Elections public funding encourages more people to run for office and allows them to serve without being beholden to big donors or special interests – only to the voters in their own district. 
  • LD 2001 — Strengthen Wabanaki & African American Studies: This bill has been reworked to include pieces from LD 1642. This bill will establish an advisory council, provide professional development opportunities, and include resources to educators so that they can develop appropriate curricula for Maine schools. 
  • LD 2237 — Strengthening public safety: This bill expands resources for those experiencing a mental health crisis and establishes an Office of Violence Prevention to promote effective means to reduce gun violence.